There would be no first-game drama for Georgia in Saturday’s season-opener as the third-ranked Bulldogs piled up 508 yards of offense to roll past FCS Austin Peay, 45-0 at Athens, Ga.
The game wasn’t supposed to be much of a challenge for the defending SEC champs and national runner-up. It wasn’t, as six different players scored for the Bulldogs (1-0), who have now won 19 of their past 22 season-openers.
Offensively, there was a little something for everyone.
Quarterback Jake Fromm enjoyed a worry-free day, completing 12 of 16 passes for 157 yards and two touchdowns, one each to Riley Ridley for 10 and Mecole Hardman for 59.
However, it was the ultimate unveiling of touted freshman Justin Fields that created the most excitement.
He didn’t disappoint. Fields was on the field for three of Georgia’s touchdown drives, his impact being felt in the third quarter when he connected with Isaac Nauta on a 12-yard touchdown pass for his first collegiate score.
His first two possessions also resulted in scores, including his second when Cal transfer Demetris Robertson made his impact felt, taking a handoff from Fields on an end-around and racing untouched around the right side 72 yards to boost Georgia’s lead to 24-0.
For the day, Fields completed 7 of 8 passes for 63 yards. He also rushed three times for 33 yards.
Elijah Holyfield capped the Bulldogs next Fields-led drive, scoring from 17 yards out before Fromm re-entered and hooked up with Hardman on their 59-yard catch and run to account for the 38-0 halftime lead.
For the day, Fields completed 7 of 8 passes for 63 yards before freshman walk-on Matthew Downing took over and played most of the second half, including the fourth quarter which was shortened to 10 minutes upon agreement by both teams.
Sophomore D’Andre Swift accounted for Georgia’s second touchdown, while Rodrigo Blankenship tallied the game’s first points on a 34-yard field goal.
Austin Peay (0-1) — which came in ranked 23rd in the FCS Coaches poll — managed only 152 yards against the Bulldog defense.
—Field Level Media